Reality show wish list: Are you listening, Mark Burnett?
Reality producer extraordinaire Mark Burnett has another show in the works. Shark Tank, a reality contest show for entrepreneurs, will be an American version of Dragon’s Den, which is the British version of a Japanese series. I have low expectations for Shark — Dragon’s Den is unbelievably dull, and my appetite for business-oriented entertainment is at an all-time low.
Burnett, once reality’s golden boy, has sort of lost his Midas touch: Jingles, a competitive jingle-writing series, never made it to air; My Dad is Better than Your Dad met an inglorious end, On the Lot, Pirate Master, Amne$ia…well, you smell what I’m cooking, yes?That said, I like a reality contest series, so I’m going to help you out, Mark Burnett, and offer some vague suggestions based on my wish list:
- Something about veterinarians or zoologists First, pets have never been hotter, nor has the world’s appetite for things that are adorable. Zooborns is…oh, the best website ever, and I fondly recall the Jeff Corwin–hosted series King of the Jungle. It’s time for something along those lines, Mark Burnett! Perhaps conservation-minded zoologists compete for a gig at a panda sanctuary?
- Something about graphic designers I didn’t care that much about fashion before Project Runway, but now I can spot a sloppy hem a light year away. The Internet already has a huge nerdboner for graphic design, so a show that includes competitive kerning is a sure bet.
- Something about on-camera anchoring/hosting/interviewing… The career paths for former reality-show contestants seem to converge at what the British call “presenters.” At first that bugged me, but now I totally love it. Let’s cut out the part where contestants pretend they want a different gig — model, singer, businessperson — and go right to a Who Wants to be a Talking Head or a Pundit or Whatever. Contestants have to be an expert in something (or at least a good faker), telegenic, and eager to be famous.
Okay, PopWatchers, what’s on your TV wish list? What would you like to see Mark Burnett turn into a glitzy contest? Or maybe you think Shark Tank is going to be decent? (Check out the clip below of the UK version Dragon’s Den, though, and tell me everything on that show doesn’t take 10 times too long.)